A Carthage mother of three is excited for her first day of school – at her new school.

A Carthage mother of three is excited for her first day of school – at her new school.

On Aug. 15, the Classy Corner Academy will open its doors as a new preschool in Carthage. Teacher and owner of the school, Crystal McDonald, said she loves the location in the former Family Literacy Center at 706 Orchard. The new preschool shares the facility with Early Head Start daycare. (A potential one-stop location for parents of children 0-5.)

“I have so many things planned to do with them,” McDonald said, walking around the first room of her school. “My goal is that I want the kids to be able to read a paragraph before they enter kindergarten.”

For children ages 3-5, the school offers not only a friendly atmosphere, but a place where learning is the highest priority. For example, the art wall serves as a place where children can proudly display their art, and also illustrate how they’ve progressed throughout the year.
The school capacity is limited to 20 children, but McDonald said that’s the way she wants it.

“I want it to be very personable here,” she said. “If a child needs extra attention on something, I’ll be able to give that because we’ll always have a small class size. I want to be a pillar in the community; when Carthage is no longer looked over for grants because our kids are so smart.”

Crystal admitted with a smile that the children she cares for will be treated like her own; not only when it comes to education but nutrition as well. She and her husband, John, have three children: Kirsalyn, 8; Kaulden, 6; and Ryker, 1. Kirsalyn already reads at a fifth grade level, and Kaulden could read chapter books in kindergarten.

After graduating from Carthage High School in 2002, Crystal studied nursing at Crowder College. For five years, she was a medical assistant to five doctors with St. John’s. She is C.P.R. certified as well as director certified for preschool education. Crystal said the two go hand-in-hand in the fact that she is able administrate medicine to children in her care (including autism).

It all started when the working mom, Crystal, was seeking a local place for her children to stay and learn.

“We were wanting someplace classy and nice for our kids to go,” she said. “That’s how we came up with the name.”

Classy Corner Academy is available from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Referrals will be rewarded with one free week.